The announcement last week of an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 on the parameters that would form the basis of a final nuclear agreement was a historic breakthrough. If thedetails outlined by the Obama administration hold, the final deal that is due to be negotiated by June 30, will have achieved the objective of creating conditions that will deter Iran from attempting a breakout – overt or covert – to a nuclear weapon. The concessions made by Iran at its known facilities will keep it at a breakout time of a year or longer for at least ten years, making it impossible for Iran to use those facilities to build a nuclear weapon without being quickly caught . And the inspections and verification regime that will last 25 years or longer will dramatically reduce Iran’s ability to covertly build a nuclear weapon.
However, the distance between parameters and a final agreement remains significant. Over the next three months the administration will have to deal with three major challenges as it attempts to finalize an agreement: (1) a skeptical U.S. Congress; (2) nervous Middle Eastern allies; and (3) the negotiations themselves.
Read the full op-ed at War On The Rocks.